Andrew Kohn | Allan Blank: Works With Contrabass

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Classical: Chamber Music Classical: Contemporary Moods: Featuring Bass
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Allan Blank: Works With Contrabass

by Andrew Kohn

Chamber music with bass by important modernist American composer.
Genre: Classical: Chamber Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Four Studies: I. Poco Rubato
3:26 $0.99
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2. Four Studies: Ii. Dotted Half = C. 66
2:28 $0.99
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3. Four Studies: Iii. Drammatico — De Profundis
8:43 $0.99
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4. Four Studies: Iv. Quarter = 88+
2:30 $0.99
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5. Introduction, Seven Vignettes, And Conclusion: Introduction
0:27 $0.99
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6. Introduction, Seven Vignettes, And Conclusion: I. Frisky
2:04 $0.99
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7. Introduction, Seven Vignettes, And Conclusion: Ii. a Shared Recitative
3:30 $0.99
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8. Introduction, Seven Vignettes, And Conclusion: Iii. Energetic
1:56 $0.99
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9. Introduction, Seven Vignettes, And Conclusion: Iv. Restrained
3:12 $0.99
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10. Introduction, Seven Vignettes, And Conclusion: V. Pushy
1:17 $0.99
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11. Introduction, Seven Vignettes, And Conclusion: Vi. Sixths and Half-Steps
2:27 $0.99
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12. Introduction, Seven Vignettes, And Conclusion: Vii. Ascents / Descents, Plus
1:25 $0.99
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13. Introduction, Seven Vignettes, And Conclusion: Conclusion
0:46 $0.99
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14. Variations On "The Turkish Lady"
21:13 $2.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The Four Studies were composed for David Murray. The first is in a character of a dramatic recitative. The second begins with a wedge shape, played tremolo, which is then subjected to various transformations. I take up score’s “optional mute” in this movement, using one made of aluminum, yielding a very special timbre. The third is a “study” in more than one sense. In addition to challenging the contrabassist to achieve a high level of intensity and direction in the “Drammatico” section, the concluding “De Profundis,” which refers to Psalm 130, “Out of the depths have I cried to thee,” was a study for the opening movement of Blank’s Poems from the Holocaust, composed in 1996 and recorded on Albany Troy 1364. The fourth study is both mysterious and motoric; it includes various instances of contrabass percussion near the end.

Blank’s Introduction, Seven Vignettes, and Conclusion proposes highly contrasted moods within a consistent constructivist technique. The radically different techniques and characters of the two instruments are taken as a challenge to be overcome by both the composer and then the performers.


For Variations on “The Turkish Lady,” Blank, then living in Virginia, chose a musical theme that is also from Virginia: “The Turkish Lady” is one of the names given in Virginia to an old English ballad which, in the seminal work of ballad scholar Francis James Child, is identified as “Young Beichan,” ballad 53 out of 305. The popularity of this ballad is attested to by Bertrand Bronson’s magisterial The Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads With Their Texts, which records this tune as variant 47 out of 112. Arthur Kyle Davis summarizes the plot: “This ballad tells the romantic story of an Englishman released from prison in Turkey by his jailer’s daughter, under a pact that neither would marry another for seven long years. At the end of that time she arrives in England in the midst of his wedding feast. Young Beichan sends the bride home (none the worse for him) and takes the Turkish lady for his wife.” —AK

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